Black Fists, Broken Whites: State of Compliancy

Only defiance, anger, opposition count in this day and age of slick serial murderers called marketeers!

Refusal is the highest honor. “I prefer not to.” Any sort of Bartleby. These times call for Herman Melville, Twain, Memory of Fire, Emma Goldman, Malcolm X, Virginia Bolten, Mujeres Libres, Wilde, Shaw!

Were civilization itself to be estimated by some of its results, it would seem perhaps better for what we call the barbarous part of the world to remain unchanged.

The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 1, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1968)

Active resistance to the singularity of money and its hoarders. Incredibly, or not, Americans, in El Norte, this stolen land, are the biggest fear-mongers, one-on-one paralyzed people, plastered into a coffin created by the rotten news, the ever-rotting entertainment, all those flaccid stories written and produced by a few, elites, the chosen few, upper middle class, white, Jewish and Christian, suburbs, unholy alliance with the uncreators, the marketers, the majesty of mush.

Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.
More Maxims of Mark, Merle Johnson, 1927, New York

Those with resistance, labeled defiant, oppositional, non-conformist, trouble makers, against the grain, unwilling to compromise for the great god of middling thinking, scraps of mullah, some mythical house-picket fence-shopping spree Black Friday existence. Which never exists outside the mullings of Americans wanting nothing to do with agency.

The biggest losers are the peers who taunt, lob, impugn, and otherwise cheer their rotten infantalized chants for the colors of empire, supremacy, all the trappings of smart bombs, napalm, miner-killing passion, a society built on slavery, on subjugation, on third wave Jim Crow, all those nostalgic days of the innocuous house on unAmerican Activities, compared to today’s Gestapo in the Admin-Finance-Punishment Class, well, back then it was Mister Rogers Neighborhood with Roy Cohen and Joe Baby. Ronald Reagan, Kissinger, the entire hornet’s nest of monsters and perverted ones, on life support with the intestines and plasma of the living, those millionaires and jet-setters and billionaire puffer fish living the life of the chubby, deviant, incapable Mafioso Bosses Sending Kids to War and Babies into the Cauldron of American Invasion Hell.

To tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe.

Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, 1899

Daily, I have men who ran the streets, found themselves abandoned by more dysfunctional parents, age 8, 10, on their own, taking care of siblings, facing the horror of sexual-physical-chemical abuse. Defiant, schools like tin foil up against the blast furnace of their rage, living the scrappy dog-eat-dog shit that is capitalism’s gladiator sport . . . don’t take no village to raise nothing mentality. Survival of the fittest, the most spiritually cancerous, the retarded gleeful ones from the political class, the least fit, the most powerful.

These men are up to their eyeballs in hock – till death do they part, fines, fees, hospital bills, charges for arrest, in the tens and tens of thousands of greenbacks, driver’s licenses suspended for life, and the straight jacket of being felons, background checks limiting their work to toil, hard, back-snapping grunge, while the streets eat them up, the cops flailing their Gestapo Crap Until Spirits Lay Unconscious, the rental-retail-repo class like leeches, burrowing nematodes, sucking sustenance from them and from their offspring yet to be born.

The solution is training, getting these people off the grid, getting them steeled for rebellion, heroics, death if need be, anything to tear down the glass towers of Bank of America, the Nike Campuses, the exploiters, the prostitutes, pimps of commerce-law-patents-debt. That’s what I tell them – to find some way to give fight back to kids, their siblings, anyone, and to join, to get their shit together and pull it together, and begin monkey wrenching, anything, against this break back mountain society, this superficial, botox, triple bypass society of old men sipping martinis and sending men into war, sacrificing the humanity of women by flipping the script and turning them into war-mongers, money-launderers, children-sappers.

Think about the Pelosi types, the Chelsea types, the ever-expanding ruthless “mothers” and “grandmothers” like Albright, Conde Rice, and the list is never ending, as they matriculate from IVY league, from MBA, United Fruit Company Seminaries.

They pledge allegiance to chaos, chum the economic waters for the packs of sharks eating the soul of countries, their signing onto state constitution alliances, submitting to the burps that are human shame – the evisceration fiends who demand IDs for proof of life, humanity, the “right” to work in the workplace, signing all those fucked up forced arbitration fine prints on the endless documents we are forced to confront in this lawyer-CFO-HR death spiral.

People in this country are for the most part DNA-twisted and Media-Mushed into Fear, never resisting, never confronting the fools that are their bosses, the pricks in uniforms, the sons of bitches and arrested (developed, that is) human females who are CEOs, make livings a million times more than their worth off flesh, the death of their fellow flag wavers – This Epipen thing is somehow news? Those bright lines of felons calling themselves leaders, CEOs, running continuing criminal enterprises, getting how much a year, these Bat mitzvahed elites?

Think about how unholy this country is, this colluding government, this rotten Obama and His Pharmacy-For Profit Hospital-Health Insurance Giveaway that is Obama Care (sic). We live in a country where dual citizen schmucks charge thousands a pill for cancer drugs, where female putzes like EpiPen Lady flails with her rhetorical post-graduate Scrabble Mumbo Jumbo on why any company should make a profit on children’s life taking allergies!

The top 20 highest-paid biopharma CEOs – Heather Bresch, Mylan. Heather Bresch is firmly ensconced in the top 10 with her $25.8 million total. Mylan shells out $32.5M to execs to handle inversion-deal excise taxes. Other companies are pulling back the reins on tax inversions, but Mylan is charging full speed ahead with its $5.3 billion deal for Abbott’s ($ABT) overseas generics. And it’s shelling out $32.5 million to 5 top execs ahead of schedule to help them skirt excise taxes meant to discourage companies from shifting their domiciles abroad.

I have these lifesaver conversations with white guys, mostly, and they are emasculated, drawn and quartered, ex-felons, managed by an entire Byzantine stable of money grubbers, social service agencies run from the top down, lives predicated on the decisions of national and transnational companies, offered jobs in warehouses, backbreaking, demeaning, dead-end, toxic, because they are uneducated, held captive to the shit that is consumerism, the media mush, and they want to know why, and they ask the radical, the communist, me, what the hell happened, why everything is going to hell in a hand-basket, and I have to deliver quick homilies to the Zionist-Banking-Legal arms that are strangling them.

They don’t know how these shitty companies are tangled up in transnational finances, how the banks they use want to suck their blood out, and cache their progeny’s blood, and they don’t know why they can never move even a baby-step ahead, why they have no money for rent, why their lives are shattering, probably worse off out there, than in prison, and we talk about revolution, general strikes, hacking, then the hijacking the system, and learning to get their tribes together, one way to stop the superficial shit of their infant days, to tribe up, to get whatever threadbare group of friends they can to pony up some little tribe or village in order to hunker down and try and shield themselves from the ever-cascading militancy of the elites, of finance, insurance, real estate, pharma-med-prison complexes.

They are broken a hundred ways, and prison taught them zero, in fact, a negative devolutionary zero, and these white guys are lost, thrown to the curb by more dysfunction in the shape of their mamas and papas, and I try and tell them the elites, those hucksters, all those rulers and rule makers and many educators, the systems of addiction, un-history, the flagging mythology of a great country, wrapped up in flag, that it’s been the dead-end it always has been, 240 fucking years, 700 years of whites living off of slavery, that they will be subject to the point-zero-zero-one rulers and the supplicants, the perverted souls that are on the ledgers of the banks, the Skull and Bones clubs, all those Clintons and Trumps and ghost and zombie sub-humans in the political prostitute class, that no matter which stupid NFL team they root for, whichever toupee-wearing or gut-pincher hiding politician they lean toward, it is all one happy money-making scam, and together the rich will stand, while separated and divided the poor will fall.

They are old before their time, old man thinkers at 19, and now in their fifties, mad, confused, anti-this, anti-that, lost in a soup of bullshit cultural wars, lost to the knuckle-sucking technologies, held in line by endless social engineers, endless flak-jacket personalities, that, hell, where oh where were the real criminals in their lives, the leaders who might have Pancho Villa-ed life into their sad, scared, macho bones? How is it that so many felons failed, got caught, never pooled resources, grifted into some harmony? The never-ending wild west crap that media have sold, all that swing a big stick sort of shit, and so they never had the faculties to team up, tribe in, and soldier together.

They see the fire in me, more defiance than anyone they have come across, the sacrilege against the USA, the Corporate Criminals, Against the Soulless Lies of the Story Tellers … the endless defiance and blasphemy against this empire, these hedge-fund loving pigs, the prigs in the admin class, all those rule makers, followers, those reminders that we are not a tribe, not a village, just a bunch of toothless sharks eating the tails of their brothers and mothers. I despise those controllers, and if any sane human had gumption, they’d want their heads on pikes, like those old days of criminal kings and queens chopping off their enemies, once friends, family, lovers, allies.

As if each day should not be a rant, I tell them, and I remind them of the real history, the potential to stand down, national day of strike, maybe just shut this shit down, but they can’t see the Brooks Brother Suits are like the others, cartel kings and Banana Republic Thugs, and the true crime breakers, in white collars or those hiding behind the deeper lies of being better than petty thieves they slap hard into the jail of their infancy and old age, slapped with the money-makers’ fines. It takes me to remind them the negative flow, the spiraling around the drain is all about the chosen few making money on pain, PTSD, addiction, dying, and theses White Criminals send their darlings to more IVY league schools so each new exploitation can be carried into the seed of each new generation of little Trump and little Koch and little Walton, and on and on, these elites magnify the inter-generational pain the poor and arrested give as markers of their lives.

The African-Americans I work with get it, for sure, and they are leaders, trying to teach the dumb whites the system is stacked against us as a class, poor, struggling, vulnerable, old, young, people of color. Black fists rising, and the broken whites, well, some of them are starting to get it, what it is for which we call institutional violence, the decks staked, they are, they are getting it, and they know that there are small powerful tribes, elites, such a small number at the top hoarding life, hoarding agency, hoarding existence and power and futures. The color of money is a long cold dark shadow from a very small group of people aligned with genocide, economic murder, inane financial religion, and they keep the money flow close to that small tribe they see not as family but as allies in their Mafia.

This is the daily grind of plodding and plotting as a social worker in a city like Portland, just another city coming to a town near you – gentrification on steroids, jobs that are worthless, endless traffic, the faux-faux green slivers among a city of dying trees, growing potholes, lead-infused school drinking fountains, and more and more people fleeing their imposed nightmares in California or down south to come here to flip houses and hoard rentals.

And I am three hard conversations and anarchist lectures away from getting sacked, yes, by the non-profit, in the at-will state, the right to toss lives and luggage and rain-soaked mattresses to the street. Everyone now, in the little co-habitating way, those spousal ways, just want two-incomes, 4.1% APR, 30-year notes, new IKEA, some dog named Androgyny, any new little eatery down the way, some patio furniture, Disney-world planned, and the right to marry same trans-sexual asexual celibate friend who hugs bridges and adopts orangutans from the palm oil burning fields of Borneo.

Peddling on Nike bikes to the Apple Store with Starbucks drip-drip-drip from the Camel-back.

Felons with an entire football team of PO’s, public defenders, nurses, mental health caseworkers, and second and third string money scarpers telling the 12 step lie that life is all in the Maker’s Hands, that destiny is foretold, and that this life of toil, broken bones, missing teeth, and spilling brains is brought to us because of our own flaws, our own cattle-like existence in the eyes of the Chosen Few.

Imagine, 12, years old that is, on military posts, wrestling, doing some football and baseball, and refusing to tip hat to the stars and bars – USA of Genocide. Football games at 18, having beers thrown at him for failing to salute Crypto-Zionist/Full Hitler-style the flag, the color guard, the mounted police, the camo creeps one-two-one-two-three-ing into the half-time field.

Imagine rebuffing the mindless tears, the medals shiny on puffed chests, the false singularity of being USA made, so leave it for a better place, if you hate this country so much. Having that yelled at him in 1969 and now the David Dukes and David Horowitzes and Donald Trumps and Hillary Rodhams puffer-fish cheeks and say the same shit today, see where that takes him.

Every fly over is a wish for implosion by him. Is it so hard to understand the despise one has for the USA, or any military shit-hole? Every turkey-jowl general or coach bowing to the wars, the red-white-blue. His DNA is wired to recoil, rebuff and resist the shit that is patriotism and nationalism.

Ahh, the “he” is I, the “him” is me: I’ve been pulled aside from high school assemblies for not standing. I’ve been whispered to at funerals for not mouthing the words, for keeping hat on, for standing head down in remorse for the bombs bursting in air.

I hear the rage of this fellow, millionaire football player, part of the capitalist consumer shit that is the non-profit status NFL, taking a stand by not standing up. It makes sense, is harmless, not an Ali thing at all, and nothing like what those strong two fist raisers stand for – John Carlos and Tommie Smith, at Mexico City, the city of killing, the city of killing by the thugs that are the tools of USA empire: Tlatelolco massacre, a few months before, hundreds murdered by government snipers and thousands tortured in their arrest hell.

John Carlos, about the white kid in the 1968 Black Power Salute Photo:

I always saw the photo as a powerful image of two barefoot black men, with their heads bowed, their black-gloved fists in the air while the US National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” played. It was a strong symbolic gesture – taking a stand for African American civil rights in a year of tragedies that included the death of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.

It’s a historic photo of two men of color. For this reason I never really paid attention to the other man, white, like me, motionless on the second step of the medal podium. I considered him as a random presence, an extra in Carlos and Smith’s moment, or a kind of intruder. Actually, I even thought that that guy – who seemed to be just a simpering Englishman – represented, in his icy immobility, the will to resist the change that Smith and Carlos were invoking in their silent protest. But I was wrong.

Thanks to an old article by Gianni Mura, today I discovered the truth: that white man in the photo is, perhaps, the third hero of that night in 1968. His name was Peter Norman, he was an Australian that arrived in the 200 meters finals after having ran an amazing 20.22 in the semi finals. Only the two Americans, Tommie “The Jet” Smith and John Carlos had done better: 20.14 and 20.12, respectively.

It seemed as if the victory would be decided between the two Americans. Norman was an unknown sprinter, who seemed to just be having a good couple of heats. John Carlos, years later, said that he was asked what happened to the small white guy – standing at 5’6”tall, and running as fast as him and Smith, both taller than 6’2”.

The time for the finals arrives, and the outsider Peter Norman runs the race of a lifetime, improving on his time yet again. He finishes the race at 20.06, his best performance ever, an Australian record that still stands today, 47 years later. But that record wasn’t enough, because Tommie Smith was really “The Jet,” and he responded to Norman’s Australian record with a world record. In short, it was a great race.

Yet that race will never be as memorable as what followed at the award ceremony.

We have these echo chambers, insipid moments now in a tsunami of war, killing, refugees bloated and belly down, from sea to shining sea. Conversations so dead-end directed, Beyonce and Half-time, and this Kaepernick, doing his little Bamboozled thing in the international limelight.

Yes, I’ll continue to sit. I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.

Colin Kaepernick

These sacrifices pale in comparison to the black men and black women I serve, their militancy at least there, but still, held down in the shackles of the money changers, weighted down by lies and broken promises and deeply defined structural violence.

Children lost, missing parents, histories whitewashed, no center, no cultural go-to place, not icons, nothing but the infotainment and entertainment of our times.

BBC Interviewer: At the same time, cynics might say that you’ve got it all: you’ve got publicity, you’ve got medals, you’ve obviously got martyrdom, as well. What do you say to that?

John Carlos: I can’t eat that, and the kids around my block that grew up with me, they can’t eat it, and the kids that’s going to grow up after them. They can’t eat publicity. They can’t gold medals, as Tommie Smith said. All we ask for is equal chance to be a human being. And, as far as I see now, we’re five steps below the ladder, and every time we try and touch the ladder, they put their foot on our hands and don’t want us to climb up.

Well, as I recall, going back to Mexico City was high tension, trauma, you might say a powder keg, because prior to us going to the Olympics, the United States team, they had a massacre take place in Mexico City. They killed hundreds upon hundreds of young students and young activists that was trying to circumvent the fact that there were so many people in poverty in Mexico, and they were concerned about what would happen to the revenues from the Olympic Games, whether it was going to help the people. They wanted them to leave that area because that’s where the Olympic activities were going to take place. And I think someone gave the order to clean, by any means necessary. And in the interim, so many young individuals lost their lives. You know, we never really had a clear estimate as to how many died. They said it was 50 at first. Then it went up to 150, then up to 350. Now what my estimation is, is close to 2,200. They killed so many—

Amy Goodman: The Tlatelolco massacre.

John Carlos: Absolutely. They killed so many young individuals. They threw their bodies in the furnace, where they would burn their trash. And then, those that they couldn’t put in there, they took out in the ocean and dropped. In the meantime, they scattered the other individuals and ran them up in the hills and told them to stay there until the games were over.

Oh, I was threatened before, during and after. You know, I think I was threatened the day I was born. But yet and still, you can’t stop your life and stop trying to make it a better life for all people for merely having threats put upon your life. I mean, you know, we see back—we go all the way back to Jesus Christ. He was threatened. It didn’t hold him up. And those individuals that sacrificed their lives over the years, it didn’t hold them up, as well. They received just as many threats as John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Or Peter Norman, for that matter.

Well, there was pain. You know, I mean, you have sunshine going into the games. When you make a statement like that, you expect storms to come. We had many storms come to us. You know, we didn’t have employment after that. Any monies that you had in the bank, the money was going out, and nothing was coming in. Those individuals that you thought may have been your friends, a lot of them stepped away from you. It took some time for you to understand and figure out why would they step away. Most of us stepped away for fear of reprisal. Your kids are ridiculed in the school once they find out who their dad was. My first wife got so much on her shoulders, to the point where she couldn’t take it anymore and she took her life. It was many hurts that went on. But yet and still, I always said that if it had to happen, it would have to happen a thousand times more. I would lose my life or my wife would lose her life or my kids would have to endure, because what we did in Mexico City was necessary, and it was right.

David Zirin: Oh, most certainly. I mean, Avery Brundage stands astride the 20th century Olympic movement like a colossus. He was an Olympian himself. He won silvers. You know, who beat him for the golds all those times was Jim Thorpe, interestingly, whose medals he later stripped. Exactly. This is who Avery Brundage was.

There was a very good chance that Hitler was never going to get the Olympics in 1936. There was a rebellion against that happening in the American amateur union in this country. Avery Brundage flew to Germany, met with Hitler, came back and said, “You know what? I spoke to” — it wasn’t true. He said, “I spoke to many Jews in Nazi Germany, and they think Hitler is great. Jews are treated beautifully here.” So he sold the idea that Hitler was an appropriate place for the Olympic—Hitler’s Germany was an appropriate place. And he’s still there in ’68. He’s still there in ’72. He’s still there in ’76, and that’s when he passes away. I mean, it’s one of those things. It’s like Dick Cheney syndrome, like evil preserves.

These are the times, the last vestiges of agency and freedom to speak, the unholy independence from the ever-leveling mindless nanny-state mea culpa of a punishment class, some fake wild west, New Adam mythology that has ended with this: felons afraid to rebel, women held captive by the 12-steps and fear of never recovering, and men who have been plugged by the rusty bullets of the financial felons and legal leeches.

There is no time left, for the masses in America, wandering streets, pushed to the curb, sprayed with the firehouses of the renter class. This is a two-step/goose-step society that falls in line with the marketers, with the myth makers, all those interlopers who have zero life to give, but plenty of superficiality.

Those fists need raising daily — black, brown, Asian, white, young, old. Those people against me, against my defiance, well, they need re-education, new lease on life, and prodding and policing by the village, the people who care for the survival of the good in the species, hoping to make life more than manageable, but valiant and vital.

This is an age of retreat and resistance, and each day there can be more of us hacking the system. Preferring not to, preferring something better . . . .

At present I would prefer not to be a little reasonable, was his mildly cadaverous reply.

― Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener

Paul Kirk Haeder has been a journalist since 1977. He's covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/community journalism situations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and beyond. He's been a part-time faculty since 1983, and as such has worked in prisons, gang-influenced programs, universities, colleges, alternative high schools, language schools, as a private contractor-writing instructor for US military in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Washington. He organized Part-time faulty in Washington State. His book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his autobiography, weekly or bi-weekly musings and hard hitting work in chapter installments, at LA Progressive. He blogs from Otis, Oregon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.